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Martina Navratilova on IOC and Jean-Claude Killy: 'Shame on them'

September 27, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Martina Navratilova and Julia Lemigova watch a match between Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet on Sept. 7 at the U.S. Open.
Martina Navratilova and Julia Lemigova watch a match between Rafael Nadal… (Matthew Stockman / Getty…)

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova took to Twitter on Friday morning to express her "disappointment" with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission.

"The latest statements from the IOC and Jean Claude Killy are an extreme disappointment to our gay athletes. Shame on them…"

Killy spoke at a news conference in Sochi, Russia, on Thursday after the commission's latest visit to assess the preparations for the Winter Games, which are in February. The IOC later issued a statement on Thursday saying that Killy had been misquoted in his comments about Russia's anti-gay law.

"We note a report quoting Sochi Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy as being 'fully satisfied' with the gay law,'" said the IOC in a statement. "He did not say that and was misquoted; and the report has subsequently been amended.

"Mr Killy in fact said that: 'as long as the Olympic Charter is respected, we are satisfied.' That is clearly not expressing any view on the law itself, and Mr Killy made it abundantly clear that the IOC never comments on national legislation.

"The IOC will continue to work to uphold the Olympic Charter, which allows all participants, from spectators to athletes, to attend the Games regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation."

On Thursday, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin took issue with Killy's comments.

"If this law doesn’t violate the IOC’s charter, then the charter is completely meaningless,” said Griffin in a statement.  "The safety of millions of LGBT Russians and international travelers is at risk, and by all accounts the IOC has completely neglected its responsibility to Olympic athletes, sponsors and fans from around the world. 

"The IOC and its new president, Thomas Bach, are putting the good reputation of the Olympic Games and its corporate sponsors in jeopardy."

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